Red-eyed Dove

Streptopelia semitorquata

The Red-eyed Dove is a denizen of well wooded habitats (both naturally occurring and plantations), and is quite closely associated with watercourses. They are also a well-known garden bird in many of our towns and cities and have actually enlarged their distribution range in association with human settlements. They feed primarily on seeds but also takes some fruits, flowers and insects. Adults of these large doves weigh around 250g and grow to 35cm in length.

Unlike many other species of pigeons, Red-eyed Doves are not particularly gregarious and are usually seen singly or in pairs, with larger congregations of 50 to 100 birds being very rare. Pairs are monogamous and breed throughout the year. Their nests are flimsy stick platforms built in tall trees or reedbeds, and clutches usually consist of 2 eggs that are incubated for 2 weeks. The chicks leave the nest when they are around 3 weeks old.

The Red-eyed Dove occurs over most of sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of the drier desert and semi-desert areas. In South Africa they are found in every province, avoiding only the driest districts of the Northern Cape. It is considered of least concern by the IUCN.

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19 thoughts on “Red-eyed Dove

  1. kim blades, writer

    Hi guys. More great photos. These and Laughing Doves (lovely name!0 are prolific in my garden and I sit outside eary in the morning with my first cup of coffee, watching them come to the bird bath to wash and drink. I always have to fill it up agan when they have finished as they splash around quite a bit!

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  2. John

    Beautiful dove, and beautiful pictures!😊 I have actually never get lucky with one single shoots on a dove! I don´t know why, I never get the right feeling, and when I try to shoot them, I throw the photos when I see them on the computer.

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  3. Ladybuggz

    Birds with red eyes are usually quite pretty, but I’ve always wondered what the reason is behind the eye colour…. We have a red eyed Thrush that I call the “Devil Bird”!

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